For the Dutch hockey players, the games ended in the quarter-finals against Australia. Because of this elimination, Van Bong saw the chances increase to lead the semi-finals and final. Fortunately for him, the Dutch referee along with two of his colleagues was appointed to lead the final battle between Belgium and Australia. Belgium won after a penalty shootout.
“It was amazing. The dream came true. It was a great match and as referees we also managed to stay in the background. For me, this final is the highlight of my career so far,” said Van Bong, who plays internationally. Championships depend on how far the Dutch teams reach . “So it’s good for me when the Dutch team does less.”
Fan Bong whistled for several games in Tokyo. “After the group stage, two sets of referees appeared. One group withdraws after the group games and the other group continues towards the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. If it turns out that you can lead the final, that’s great. There is no higher podium than the Olympic final for hockey players and no hockey referees. I just don’t get a medal, but that’s fine.”
At the officials’ hotel, Fan Bong received a message that he might lead the final. “We have our own floor in the hotel and for the meetings we sat near the elevator, as there is still a bit of open space. At that meeting we were first thanked for our efforts. Then the Bronze Medal Battle Referees were honored and there was a big applause. When the final match judges were called This was followed by even greater applause.”
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